The ineffectiveness of moral teachings at schools


Children are often provided with many moral teachings throughout their learning period, other than what their parents provide them. Before school they are sent to Sunday school(for Christians), madrassa (for muslims, which is one of the triggering factor for this article, since I am a Muslim) and even a separate but not mandatory subject of moral science at some schools. But what is disturbing is that the values didn’t seem to stick on to the kids as they grow along. People seem to be complaining about how immoral the current youth has become (without thinking about themselves). In my observations and research(?), I think the problem lies in the conflict between what they learn and what they see on the outside.

A Semi-virtual Case study

A kid, who is taught with the virtues of honesty, the goodness of saying the truth, even one or two stories of Gandhi, decided to always tell the truth. His father has got low temper, and mother even less. His telling of the truths is often met by furious scoldings and often beatings, with no words of appreciation. He may tell his friend’s mother some truth about his friend and may lose that friend based on that. On his way home with his mother, he hear mother lying to his father on the phone. When he asks why she is lying, she might say, she lied to not make him angry or other excuses. In movies he is constantly bombarded with various benefits of lies and how saying truth endanger the honest. Ads lies, newspaper lies, politicians lies. So how can this kid, despite all this conditioning, believe that telling truth is good for him.

A Muslim girl or boy, learning about Islamic ways at a madrassa. Say for example, growing beard for men and covering whole body except face and palms for women. When they reach home, they will see their father and relatives in clean shave, not to mention the beardless men on TV and movies. For girls, their mother is wearing latest fashion dress, their elder sister is wearing T shirt and jeans, and most other girls they see are not following Islamic rule. So pardha become just another uniform girls wear when they go to madrassa, but not outside.

Blaming current generation

Many people (often in ignorance) blame and criticize the younger generations, kids for their lack of moral values and indecent behavior. But I think, the younger generations were guided by and learned from the previous generation. The kids didn’t invent bad things, they learned from their elders, parents, from friends who learned from their elders. Most people are saying this so proudly that we might think that there wasn’t any such thing in their time. It’s time they admit some responsibility and try to correct what they did wrong than to waste time blaming and criticizing.


It is the responsibility of the parents and the society to provide the learning generation a model to learn from. Sending their kids to counseling programs, religious vacation classes, Sunday schools, madrassas, distant hostels etc might not benefit them, if what they are seeing everyday in their homes and neighborhoods is conflicting. This is not to say that there are kids who becomes good despite their circumstances, but not all kids are identical.

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